Native American tribes need better internet access. This one weird spectrum might do the trick.

Marginalized Native American communities throughout the United States could have better access to high-speed internet if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decides to allow tribes to use the Educational Broadband Services (EBS) spectrum for services like telemedicine, transmitting medical records electronically, or an online high school. Read the rest

FCC denies China Mobile's application to provide services in U.S. over national security concerns

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has denied an application by the Chinese telecommunications provider China Mobile to provide services in the U.S. over concerns about national security and risks to law enforcement. Read the rest

How a 13-year-old boy was radicalized by the alt-right, then figured out they were full of it

A 13-year-old boy is wrongly accused of sexual harassment, then railroaded by zealous school administrators. Abused by the system and shunned by real-life friends, he finds new ones—on Reddit and 4chan. What Happened After My 13-Year-Old Son Joined the Alt-Right.

Those online pals were happy to explain that all girls lie—especially about rape. And they had lots more knowledge to impart. They told Sam that Islam is an inherently violent religion and that Jews run global financial networks. (We’re Jewish and don’t know anyone who runs anything, but I guess the evidence was convincing.) They insisted that the wage gap is a fallacy, that feminazis are destroying families, that people need guns to protect themselves from government incursions onto private property. They declared that women who abort their babies should be jailed.

Sam prides himself on questioning conventional wisdom and subjecting claims to intellectual scrutiny. For kids today, that means Googling stuff. One might think these searches would turn up a variety of perspectives, including at least a few compelling counterarguments. One would be wrong.

Dealing with malicious do-gooder school officials is difficult, not least because some see that fight as an opportunity to dismantle public education or to shield young men from consequences.

Tech companies, though, everyone can see those guys coming.

The term "complicity" lets them off the hook, but "conspiracy" and "collusion" are too freighted with nearby political goings-on. I think the best term for what Google, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook do is the plain non-legal sense of connivance: a passive consent to wrongdoing and crisis, a covert willingness to permit behavior they publicly disclaim, and a language of justification to go with it, all in pursuit of outcomes that benefit them. Read the rest

What it's like in a scam call center

Jim Browning got a look into a Kolkata call center via one of the scammers' insecure machines: "You're looking at the webcam of a scammer named Deva ██████. He's currently uploading the phone numbers of people who will be his next potential victims. All are numbers of people who have previously fallen victim to a popup scam."

These guys are a particularly nasty group from Kolkata in India. They run a refund scam and this video shows what their call center looks like, how they operate, who and where they are. I've sent a link to the unblurred version of this video to the Kolkata Cyber Police (for all the good that it will do).

The offices are "small and cramped" and full of smoke. Read the rest

YouTube star Austin Jones faces prison after child porn guilty plea, coerced teen girls to perform sexual acts live online

U.S. attorney’s office to seek 11-year prison sentence for Jones, 26, on Friday May 3.

Google tells U.S. House it spends 'hundreds of millions' on content review each year, found +1M 'terrorist videos' on YouTube in Q1 2019

Alphabet, parent company of Google and YouTube, told a U.S. House panel that it spends hundreds of millions of dollars on reviewing content each year, and claims to have identified at least one million “suspected terrorist videos” on YouTube in the first quarter of 2019. Read the rest

1MB: free website host for coders

1mb.site is a simplified hosting service for personal websites with all the bells and whistles: custom domains, SSL, databases and an online code/content editor. It's free of charge so long as you don't have more than 1mb of stuff.

1MB is a free website host designed to make web development feel more approachable. You do not need to browse through complicated settings menus or juggle a bunch of server credentials here. You can edit your site directly inside your browser. 1MB has a custom code editor with some useful features such as starter templates, live site previews, and themes. 1MB gets you online fast by letting you focus on coding.

This is great and I hope it'll be a hit, because setting up cloud hosts is a frustrating experience. That said, having had to so often, I know useful things you'd not figure out from a service like 1mb. Read the rest

Facebook expects up to $5 billion FTC fine over privacy

$5 billion is about one month's revenue for Facebook.

Facebook working on creepy new voice assistant nobody wants or needs

Just what we needed, said exactly no one.

Male tech execs accused of sexual misconduct now getting second chances

* whether they deserve one or not

Facebook says it never sells your data but these internal documents show exactly how much they value your data in dollars

Mark Zuckerberg leveraged Facebook user data—maybe yours?—to crush rivals and aid allies, leaked documents show.

Facebook's '15 months of Fresh Hell' detailed deliciously by WIRED

'Scandals. Backstabbing. Resignations. Record profits. Time Bombs. In early 2018, Mark Zuckerberg set out to fix Facebook.'

Welp. That didn't work.

The May issue cover story of WIRED Magazine is a 12,000-word rip-snorting takedown of Facebook. Read the rest

Amazon shareholders to vote on proposal to stop selling racially biased facial surveillance software to governments

“BIG DEAL,” says the ACLU's Matt Cagle about this story. “Amazon shareholders will vote on whether the Board must reconsider company sales of face surveillance to governments. The SEC rejected Amazon's attempt to prevent this proposal from moving forward.” Read the rest

IBM System/360 mainframe consoles

Ken Shirriff presents Iconic consoles of the IBM System/360 mainframes.

This article describes the various S/360 models and how to identify them from the front panels. I'll start with the Model 30, a popular low-end system, and then go through the remaining models in order. Conveniently IBM assigned model numbers rationally, with the size and performance increasing with the model number, from the stripped-down but popular Model 20 to the high-performance Model 195.

Each of the cabinets in the photo above contains a whopping 256 kilobytes of storage.

Previously: How It Works: The Computer Read the rest

Teens 'not damaged by screen time', new Oxford study finds

Research by Oxford University scientists finds “little evidence of a relationship between screen time and wellbeing in adolescents.” Based on data from over 17,000 teenagers, the study “casts doubt on the widely accepted notion that spending time online, gaming or watching TV, especially before bedtime, can damage young people’s mental health.”

This isn't the first time a scientific study has disproven the notion of a direct link between the amount of time teenagers spend on devices and their well-being, but it's good to know we can worry less about teens' time on-screen. Read the rest

How storage ended up tiny

I'm not even a knowledgeable layperson when it comes to storage technology, but I enjoyed reading Chris Siebenmann's post about how m.2 solid-state drives became standard. Just three years ago, it seems, people in the know expected another standard, u.2, to replace the aging SATA hookups anyone who built a PC in the 21st century will know well. But m.2. won, at least with consumers. Pictured above is a photo of an m.2 SSD resting on top of a u.2. SSD, from PCPer.

Technology change and failed standards are not exactly new to the PC world, but for me this is still an interesting and impressive example of it in action. U.2 was the obvious thing in the middle of 2015, and then two years later it had just disappeared completely. ... While U.2 theoretically makes it easier to have larger NVMe SSDs, my impression is that in the consumer market the largest limiting factor on SSD sizes is how much people have been willing to pay for them. This certainly is the case for me.

He lays out some of the m.2 advantages, such as compatibility with SATA and laptop-friendliness, but the thing that strikes me is how incomprehensible it is to some that m.2 won out. Siebenman links to u.2.'s wikipedia article. The article includes a "comparison to m.2" section that sounds like it's about to burst into tears...

... and yet to me it's obvious. Why would anyone prefer a bulky, case-bound SSD with thick double-decker connectors and annoying rubbery cables over one that looks just like a wee stick of RAM — and slots right into the motherboard in similarly convenient fashion? Read the rest

NSA domestic surveillance debate returns to Congress with 'Ending Mass Collection of Americans’ Phone Records Act'

“It’s time, finally, to put a stake in the heart of this unnecessary government surveillance program and start to restore some of Americans’ liberties,” Wyden said in a statement.

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